by: Jon Miller
No one enjoys blind dates. Whether you’re introduced by friends, the Internet, or your neighborhood matchmaker, it’s nerve-wracking to meet for the first time.
Conversely, everyone loves weddings. The flowers, the tradition, the drunken dancing at the reception, you can find something you like.
Everything that comes in between is the interesting part. When you’re dating, you’re learning about each other: what you like to do, the things he doesn’t eat, the stuff she does on Saturdays. And you’re discovering the things that you do well together.
It's no different when it comes to B2B marketing. You need to deepen your relationship with prospects over time, interacting in a variety of settings, learning more about each other's needs and capabilities while progressing seamlessly from one interaction to the next. And you need to know when to commit more resources to the relationship as well as when to pull back and give the prospect some space.
In the B2B marketing world, this “dating” process is called lead nurturing, defined as the process of building a relationship with qualified prospects who are not yet sales-ready, regardless of budget, authority, or timing – and of ensuring a clean hand-off to sales at the right time.
Read the rest of the white paper Blind Date to White Wedding: Best Practices for Lead Nurturing.
Original Post: http://blog.marketo.com/blog/2007/12/lead-nurturing.html